High fructose corn syrup: unnatural?

"Products containing high fructose corn syrup cannot be considered 'natural' and should not be labeled as such, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said" according to NutraIngredients-USA.com.

That's an important distinction. One that could have a hell of an impact on the marketing of food products. Because high fructose corn syrup, which is derived from corn and is incredibly cheap, is used to sweeten an insane number of processed foods and drinks.

But, ultimately, regardless of what it is, all sorts of sources are telling us to avoid the stuff at all costs. And this is why.

According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, this stuff is so insidious that "The country eats more sweetener made from corn than from sugarcane or beets, gulping it down in drinks as well as in frozen food and baked goods." And it is so scary that "Almost all nutritionists finger high fructose corn syrup consumption as a major culprit in the nation's obesity crisis"

Men's Health concurs, saying high fructose corn syrup bears "... primary responsibility for the collective weight gain in our society..." going on to say it "...hypnotizes eaters into thinking they're always hungry." Sixwise.com goes even further, saying that "Along with helping Americans pack on more pounds, HFCS has been linked to other health problems . . . " which they say include everything from "an increased risk of heart disease" to "accelerated bone loss" and "high blood pressure."

So what are we to do? Well, to help, I'd like to leave you with this sage advice from Michael Pollan's brilliant January 28, 2007 "New York Times Magazine" article entitled Unhappy Meals: "Avoid food products with ingredients that are unfamiliar or unpronounceable, including high-fructose corn syrup, or are more than five."